Wakefield weather warning: Advice and help you might need as Storm Eunice hits with 60-70mph winds
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Storm Dudley brought gale-force winds and a 'danger to life' warning in force earlier this week and now the Met Office has issued a yellow weather warning today with severe winds expected to rage on with Storm Eunice.
Winds of 66mph hit Yorkshire this week as flights were diverted from Leeds Bradford Airport and Northern Rail services were disrupted.
TransPennine Express have advised customers to stay at home as Storm Eunice hits with strong winds.
Network Rail are putting emergency measures in place and TransPennine will be operating a 'minimal rail plan'.
National Highways Head of Road Safety, Jeremy Phillips, said: “We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys and consider if their journey is necessary and can be delayed until conditions improve.
"If you do intend to travel, then plan your trip and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey.
“In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.
“Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space. In the event of persistent high winds we may need to close bridges to traffic for a period, so please be alert for warnings of closures and follow signed diversion routes.”
People should make preparations, secure garden furniture and bins, avoid parking near trees and remain cautious.
The best place for any customers who want to make sure we know about their power cut - and obtain updates - is through the online power cut checker.Customers with a disability, medical condition or very young families, who may need greater assistance during a power cut and have signed up to the company's Priority Services Membership, will be kept updated as a priority.
For any customers on our priority service register who require further support, you can contact 0800 169 2996.
Insurance expert Kevin Pratt, of Forbes Advisor, has revealed his tips for dealing with storm damage, and how people can prepare themselves:
When a storm - in this case Eunice - is in the weather forecast, that’s a cue to do a few checks around your property and take precautions to minimise the risk of damage.
But first of all, be realistic. Don’t be tempted to clamber onto the roof looking for loose tiles or aerials, or to inspect and clear your gutters - this is work for professionals. If you spot something worrying from the ground, see if a contractor is available at short notice, but don’t put your safety in jeopardy.
Eunice will travel eastwards across the country, so the prevailing winds will come from the west. That means walls facing east should provide a modicum of shelter.
Check gates, fences, trees and bushes
Lock gates and secure loose panels where you can. See if you can safely remove damaged branches that look vulnerable to windy weather, but always approach such tasks with safety in mind, especially if it involves using a ladder, climbing, or using powered equipment.
Bear in mind also that some trees, including those on private land, can only be removed with the permission of the local authority.
Secure loose items
If you have a garden or balcony, is there anything that could be blown over or damaged? It could be children’s toys and equipment, such as a trampoline, your BBQ, tools and garden furniture. It might also be worth moving window-boxes onto the floor until Eunice has been and gone.
You should also move your rubbish and recycling bins out of the path of the wind if possible, or make sure they are full and heavy enough not to be blown over.
Close your windows
If you routinely have a bathroom window open, for example, close it when the storm arrives to prevent it from flying open and being damaged.
Consider your pets
Your pets probably won’t want to venture out into the storm, so exercise them in advance if you can. They might also be upset by the noise, so be prepared to comfort and reassure them.
Keep stuff handy
It’s worth having a torch, candles and matches and a fully-charged phone to hand in case there’s any interruption to your power supply. In the unlikely event you might have to leave your home in a hurry, make sure you’ve got essentials such as appropriate clothes and footwear and any medications you require.
Kevin said: “Homeowners will turn to their insurance policies if their property is damaged - buildings insurance for structural problems, contents cover for damage and loss to belongings.
“If there is damage, it’s important to contact your insurer straight away, so remind yourself where your policy documents are, either filed away or on your computer. And it’s worth taking photographs or a video as a record. Don’t undertake any major repairs or employ a contractor until you’ve discussed the situation with your insurer - they may have a network of their own you can use.
“Don’t throw anything away, again until you’ve cleared things with the insurer.
“If staying in the property is dangerous, your insurance may pay for the cost of temporary accommodation.”
“Home insurance really shows its value in the wake of a storm. If your property is left uninhabitable, your buildings insurance policy may cover the cost of alternative accommodation. You may even be able to claim for the cost of putting your pets into a kennel or cattery if they can’t come with you.
“It’s your contents insurance which will cover the cost of replacing items such as furniture, and other possessions. Buildings insurance covers structural damage.
“If you’re renting, your landlord should have buildings insurance. Contact them as soon as you can so they can give you help and advice.”
Home Insurance Expert at Confused.com Jessica Willock says:
“Although we're used to bad weather in the UK, it can still be quite a shock when faced with high winds and rain from an incoming storm. In a survey by Confused.com, a quarter (25%) of people said that they have had their properties damaged by wind, and over one in ten (12%) said their properties have been damaged by fallen trees. You never know what risks weather warnings might bring, so it's always best to be prepared.
“There are some routine maintenance chores you can do to reduce storm damage which might help out later. These include clearing gutters at least twice a year and especially after heavy rain, check your roof for any loose tiles or damage and pruning trees to reduce the risk of debris.
“To protect your property in extreme weather conditions, having the right cover is crucial. Check you have buildings and contents insurance, which should cover the property itself and your belongings. That way, if anything gets damaged and you need to make a claim on your home insurance, you'll be covered. If you're confused about what other steps might be necessary, our guide to making a claim for storm damage explains how you can get in touch with your insurer, make an inspection and sort emergency repairs.”